Speech By Cameron Dugmore, SONA Debate

14 February, 2022

President Ramaphosa and Deputy President Mabuza
Honourable members of the house
It is probably inevitable that when our President makes a solid, inspiring speech detailing the challenges we face , progress made and plans for the year ahead, that

  • some will want to claim aspects of the speech as their own and even say it comes from their manifesto
  • While others like the EFF will refer to the ANC as a former liberation movement that has sold out . Let me tell the EFF that the ANC is a liberation movement . Not a former liberation movement . We are still in a struggle to establish a national democratic society .

None of the above attempts will work.

Fortunately we had the Deputy Minister of Finance who also happens to be the Principal of the OR Tambo School of Leadership to provide clarity to these honourable members .

He explained about our policy of supporting a mixed economy , of a developmental and capable state , about the vibrant role that should be played by the private sector . Minister Nxesi also explained our commitment to public employment and the massive investment in the expanded public works programme. As the ANC , we have always been clear that when it comes to whether we should nationalise or privatise , we are always guided by the balance of evidence.

The honourable Premier of the Free State talked about practical , delivery that is taking place on the ground . Fixing of internal roads. Making land available . This is the ANC at work .

Malibongwe igama lamakhosikazi !

The President has lead our country through stormy times, has stayed focused and showed courage in his search to unite our country around a social compact.

South Africa needs more of this President.  

The call by our President for a new consensus requires all of us to think anew about our role as opposition, our role in government and as citizens.

We are not enemies here in this house . We may not be and we don’t have to be friends. But we are South Africans who have the responsibility to find solutions to our problems.

That’s what the President wants – for us to try and forge a new consensus about what our country needs.

We need to realise that cooperative government and united action are critical.  

The vast majority of South Africans want their leaders to find solutions together.

They yearn for the bickering and blame games to stop.

They want accountability and humility from all our leaders.

They want to see practical progress in growing and transforming our economy.

They want security of tenure, land restitution and land redistribution.

All our people want jobs.

They want an end to crime, violence and arson.

They want corruption, state capture and so called “white collar crime” , which is a nice word for theft by some in business, to be dealt with harshly and without fear or favour.

Those who are burning , must go directly to jail . Nothing else.

Speaker, whatever people say in this debate, it is clear that the path chosen by the ANC and our President is the correct one. It gives South Africa the best chance of winning the battle against poverty, inequality and unemployment.

This is about the battle of ideas . It’s about what we do on the ground and the how our people perceive us. In the end they will decide .

Nee, Madam Speaker, ons President het die spyker op sy kop geslaan!

Ons ondersteun hom hier in die Wes-Kaap. Hy is die leier wat ons mense kan bymekaar bring – bruin, swart en wit.  

Uchane ucwethe UMongameli! Thina abantu baseKapa, sinetemba elikhulu lokuba wena kunye no Khongolose nisebenzisana kunye noluntu ninako ukusombulula ingxaki zethu.

Here in the Western Cape, we need to finally end the “blame and complain game” and the “swart gevaar” tactics used by Helen Zille and now by John Steenhuisen.
In their desperate search for votes they had no shame in trying to divide Coloured from African and continuing the Tony Leon narrative of “Fight Back” which at its core was a message meaning fight blacks.

The aim was to push white South Africans into a laager.

The DA continues to fight back;
against the minimum wage,
against employment equity,
against broad based black economic empowerment
and against land redistribution and security of tenure.

The DA has lied to the country by claiming that they do not practice cadre deployment while attacking the ANC. What hypocrisy !

Honourable members I have here a letter, dated 8th May 2018, written by DA Provincial Chairperson, Anton Bredell which proves DA cadre deployment.

Proves it, beyond any doubt.

I quote “U is bewus daarvan dat aanstellings deur Fedex afgeteken moet word”.

Very clear – no appointments without approval by Fedex.  

To make matters worse this cadre deployment, was nothing other than DA racism and the unlawful contravention of employment equity.

The letter was aimed at blocking a more qualified black candidate in George in favour of a less qualified DA loyalist who was white.

Confronted with the evidence, Helen Zille was then forced to admit that the Fedex was practising cadre deployment. True to form she blamed poor Mmusi Maimane!

I can understand why black members of the DA often ask  “ Senzeni na ? Soon sethu  ubumnyama ? – our only sin is the colour of our skin”.

I want to now share with this house letter number two which proves once again how the DA national leadership actually got involved not only in cadre deployment, but actually re-advertising a post to especially cater for a DA loyalist irrespective of his qualifications!

The letter is written by former Fedex chair, James Selfe, and is dated 17 March 2017. Writing to the George Mayor, Melvyn Naik, Selfe says “…councillor van Wyk had a legitimate expectation that he would be appointed to the administration….” The contents reveal a manipulative process to re-advertise a public service position to specifically cater for DA councillor Leon van Wyk irrespective of who had applied for the post.

Speaker, this is the tip of the iceberg. DA cadre deployment is unlawful and racist.

The DA has not responded to our request to make available all DA minutes and deployment letters from 2009 to date.

We gave them a deadline of 1 February.

We will announce the next steps on Wednesday when we respond to Premier Winde’s SOPA.  

Speaker, we welcome the signing of legislation by our President to advance the fight against the pandemic of GBV.

We are concerned that if political leaders do not take this battle seriously, and embrace the national policy, the scourge will worsen. Some of the highest incidents of GBV in the country are in Khayalitsha and Mitchells Plain.

In our province, we are concerned that a culture of impunity is developing in regard to sexual harassment and assault at government workplaces.

A chief director in the provincial department of transport has been charged with sexual assault, attempted rape and committing a sex act against a junior employee. He remains at work.

The Head of Department, with the active support of the MEC and Premier, has refused to suspend him while the criminal trial is underway. He has never faced an internal disciplinary hearing.

The victim is at home. There are other cases in the provincial treasury and other departments.

The efforts being made by our President and this House are being undermined by a political and departmental leadership who simply refuse to do what is right.

As the ANC, we say that any official charged with GBV must be suspended.

On the Albert Fritz matter, we are deeply concerned at a potential cover- up.

There appears to have been a process of male members of the DA recruiting and grooming young female DA members from Mitchells Plain to become victims of sexual predators.

There are allegations that this started as early as 2012 when Fritz was MEC for Social Development.

The refusal by the Premier to broaden the scope of his own “independent enquiry” is part of the cover up.

What makes matters worse is this “weaponization” of GBV by males in the DA who lead different factions.

DA leaders knew about this sexual abuse.

Yet some simply ignored it.

We need, all of us, to build the new consensus based on the provisions of our constitution. Redress and equity is a central thread that runs through it.

Redress for those who suffered unfair discrimination.

Thus we need to accept that it is unsustainable and unjust that less than 3% of agricultural land in the Western Cape is owned by black ( African, Coloured and Indian) South Africans.

White South Africans who constitute 18% of the population own 70% of the urban land in our province while Coloured and African citizens who constitute 48% and 32% of the population, own only 10% and 3% of urban land respectively.

To deal with this requires a new consensus.

Not fear mongering. Not arrogance, obfuscation and unwillingness. Not race denialism. Practical solutions which confront the original sin directly while securing food security and the transformation of the agricultural sector.

As the ANC opposition in the Western Cape we have initiated a land audit and land release campaign across all municipalities.

As leader of the opposition I will be meeting all Mayors in the province to discuss inclusion of all municipal, provincial, national and SOE land within the land audits.

We will also look at well located private land.

It is critical that these land audits are included in the Integrated Development Plans of each municipality before the budgets are adopted in July this year.

Linked to the audit must then be a clear and time –bound programme of land release for agriculture, urban food security, human settlements, local economic development as well as arts, culture and recreation.

Honourable President, we believe that if we can rise to your call for a new consensus and embrace cooperative governance across all 3 spheres, local social compacts about land release are possible.  

We look forward to the National Assembly passing the Expropriation Bill.

This will provide certainty and it will advance land redistribution within a clear legal framework.

We call on the provincial government to support the District Development Model.

It is in the best interests of all the people of our province.

By not supporting the model, we are denying our people the benefits of co-operative government.

Mr President, our province needs your continued help in fighting the scourge of gangsterism and substance abuse.

The launch of the Anti- Gang Unit and additional allocation of police resources is appreciated. The provincial government is failing to develop an integrated and societal approach to the pathology of gangs and drugs.  

As the ANC opposition in this province, we will be critical but we will also be constructive and solutions driven.

We will be genuine in our search for a new consensus here in the Western Cape.

As the late cde Cecil Esau said – “ Daar is n volk om te lei om die land te bevry! Daar’s werk.”

Kubo Mongameli ! Kubo